The Gilpin History Museum is located in a historic two-story stone school that was in operation between 1870 and 1968. The museum opened in 1970 and contains exhibits related to local history. There is a special emphasis on the region's mining history, as the city was founded in response to the discovery of gold in a gulch near Central City in 1859. The museum also offers a recreation of a historic main street and exhibits related to the building's past history as a schoolhouse. One of the most popular displays explores the region's more bawdy history, and is titled The Sins of Gilpin County: Drinking, Gambling and Prostitution.
Several rooms in the museum have been recreated to represent everyday aspects of a mining town such as a doctor's office, carpenter shop and school room. A saloon exhibit hints at the raucous days and salty history of Black Hawk and Central's City's past.